With the general election campaign now in full swing, candidates across south west London have been busy making their cases to voters, with a handful of constituencies in the area potentially proving critical.
Winning with a razor thin majority in 2015, Gavin Barwell faces a tough battle for his seat, which covers the eastern part of the borough. While the north of Croydon tends to Labour and the south reliably returns a Conservative candidate to Westminster, the part of the borough covered by Mr Barwell’s constituency is a tossup. Mr Barwell can take comfort from national polls putting the Conservative Party well ahead, but Jeremy Corbyn made no secret of his desire to take the constituency on a visit there on Wednesday.
Sarah Olney’s victory in last year’s by-election was one of the first signs of a Lib Dem fightback in Westminster. Managing to overturn Zac Goldsmith’s 23,000 vote majority by focusing on Brexit, the party will be looking to keep control of the seat as part of its push to establish an arc of territory running from Barnes to Beddington.
Veteran politician Vince Cables’s announcement that he will take on Dr Tania Matthias to regain the seat he lost after 18 years in 2015. The former business secretary will be hoping to capitalise on concerns about the Government’s policy on leaivng the EU in a constituency where an estimated two thirds voted to remain.
Kingston and Surbiton
Another former cabinet minister aiming to regain a seat lost in 2015 is Ed Davey. The former minister for energy and climate change will be looking to beat sitting MP James Berry two years after he was voted out of his Kingston and Surbiton seat. Mr Berry’s majority is a healthy
Labour’s Kate Hoey has a healthy majority in the constituency she has served since 1989 but could yet be threatened by a backlash against the leading role she took in the Leave campaign in the run up to last year’s referendum. Lib Dem candidate is hoping to capitalise on ___ in Vauxhall, where an estimated 78% of people voted to remain in the European Union.
Sutton and Cheam
Another piece of the puzzle for the Lib Dems would be in retaking the London-Surrey border constituency of Sutton and Cheam. So far former MP Paul Burstow has shown no indication that he plans to stand again, having taken up a role as chair of a London healthcare trust. However Conservative MP Paul Scully will face a challenge from whoever the Lib Dems field as a candidate.